Nothing in the history of the automobile compares to today's frantic effort to breathe life into electric cars and hybrids.
In the following slideshow we've gathered together 15 images, which touch recent developments emerging from the auto industry's ongoing efforts in alternative power train technologies. Our vehicle choices range from Toyota's hybrid gas turbine concept car of 1969, to polished production hybrids, such as the Toyota Prius and Ford Explorer, to backyard electric conversions, such as the drag-racing Crazy Horse Pinto. Our emphasis is on the delivery of electric power, with or without a gasoline counterpart.
Click the image below to view a slideshow of alternative energy vehicles:
Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive is an evolution of the hybrid powertrain that powered the game-changing Toyota Prius. The Synergy Drive replaces a traditional geared transmission with a drive unit that includes an electronic continuously variable transmission. The system allows power to be split between the wheels and an electric generator. (Photo courtesy of Toyota)
To keep up with our Chevy Volt coverage, go to Drive for Innovation, and follow the cross-country journey of EE Life editorial director, Brian Fuller. On his trip, sponsored by Avnet Express, Fuller is driving a Volt across America to interview engineers.
The problem with electric vehicles is that the Automotive industry has never really come up with a good market definition. They keep making cars that cost too much, and perform too little. What I mean is - a car that has a 40 mile range is useless for normal uses like commuting. In an ideal world we would all live within walking distance of our job, but most of us have left the family farm so that is no longer a viable option. We choose a house and a job, and often we wind up through circumstances out of our control, looking for a new job. And that new job may not be next door. Do we uproot our family and move to a new house with new schools and churches and friends or do we allow our family to stay in familiar surroundings and commute. And in some areas of the country, there is little choice, the housing close to the jobs is just so expensive that the commute is the only option.
In my opinion, an electric car that can't go 100-150 miles on a charge is, at best, a luxury item and status symbol. It makes no sense to have an expensive electric car that can't get to the store and back without a charge.
Some electic vehicles are very practical - Electric golf carts in retirement communities are an excellent application. They have sufficient range and speed for the typical user. Unfortunaltely the typical user of an automobile has quite different requirements and none of the electric vehicles meet those needs.
Engineers and poltics WOW. Play together. How can you talk about electric's evolution and not go back past 1969, that is yesterday in hstory. Henery Ford's wife drove electrics. That is probably where this article should have started.
My opinion still is there should not be automotive designers working on electrics. Too much baggage. There is way too much weight, coupled with too much size, the charging system is wrong(batteries should be replaced with charged ones instead of charging ones buried in the automobile). An electric car should fit the operator more like a slipper than a boot. Right size the vehicle and the body and suspension could all be carbon fiber as one unit with the use of weight only to provide operator space integraty for safety. Then the drive unit, motor or motor w/engine could be miniscule compared to what drives the Prius, Leaf, or Volt.
One simply has to look at the facts that the funds were raided, to see who is responsible.
There is no use in trying to convince/educate those who have totally bought the KoolAid. Logic does not get through when they shut off the thinking part of their consciousness. Remember:"Teaching the pig to dance is a fruitless endeavor. It is a waste of your time and it irritates the pig."
On a more technical note, the "true" hybrid vehicles do result in an overall reduction of fuel usage, however the "power hybrids" are a joke. They are designed to just boost performance, and have no overall effect on fuel. These are all just an interim measure. We will not see any viable improvement until fuel cell and other more exotic technologies come on line.
jackiecox; Take an English composition course. A sentence is not 'better' because it contains more or bigger words. Re-read what you write to see if it is clear and concise. Also check for spelling mistakes and grammatical mistakes. While you are researching an issue, remember that the author may be only presenting the facts that support his position. Read the articles that oppose your favorite viewpoint also. By comparing both positions you will be better able to judge which argument is based on facts vs. dogma.
3 years ago when oil was 140 a barrel ane gasoline ws 1.80 a gallon, compared to today when gas is near 4.00 a gallon and oil is 40 dollars a barrel, the idea oligopoly, laws and price fixing is not going on unprosecuted is an interesting element of criminality currently in power. I am not wearing a tinfoil hat so the facts may be kinda sleazy
plugincar.com reports slightly over 400 electric vehicles were sold in Jan, 2012, the volt, leaf, tesla, etc, will probably be history, unless some new source of stored elictricity is discovered, providing a car where customers meet the economical justification criteria required to survive in a customer based economy, unless a tinfoil hat electric vehicle. becomes avaiabe, sent to the customers in an email, after half the money is deposited with the express agreement the paying customer may not get the email or merchandise unless the wright tinfoil hat is worn, for sale by the same sulpplier who must agree to buy the tinfoil hat, after depositing half the money up fromt, with the express agreement the customer may not get the email or the tinfoil hat, unless they buy enough common shares in the uocoming tinfoilhat IPO, currently in the approval stage of the NYSE, available on the internet, sent by email under the express agreement half the money must be deposited up front with the express agreement the email containing the common shares may not arrive and the IPO may be withdrawn or disapproved, after approval, ha ?
not understanding the alien element of the tinfoin hat, gold email who reported it without suppling any source of credibility in the oneliner, i decided to supply more data on the golden idea of a tinfoil hat that may or may not be: tin, foil, or hat
Just to correct you before I abandon this useless discourse. Lyndon Johnson, the person who declared war upon poverty, is the fellow who opened the Lock Box of Social Security to the vagries of every petty politician. He and his minions, not George Bush began the squandering of your and my "nest egg". (oops I forgot, our "entitlement") I recall vividly Johnson's reply to a real Reporter (not a fawning, cool aide drinking talking head) when asked about the poor performance of the Federal Government is dispensing money to the poor. Johnson's response...We will put so much money into the system so that some of it will HAVE to get to the poor. Nice attitude, huh? You see, back then, when the average age of the country was about 19 years old, the Social Security System was gorged with cash. Cash that the Politicians just couldn't keep their hands off. THAT attitude and the attitude that the current administration continues, not George Bush, was the beginning of the rape of our legacy. These progressives are arrogant, ignorant incompetent buffoons that have such a low disregard for their constitutants that they are not content with spending our legacy but now have embarlked upon destroying the legacies of our children and grandchildren. How can you ask the CEO of a corporation to "sacrifice" to lower your gas bill when your president refuses to cut the out of control spending on hmself and every ne're do well slug in the country....all to become re-elected.
It is clear to me that this discourse is futile. These people have indoctrinated and infected the general public to the point where mental blindness is the norm.
Lantronix Inc. has expanded its line of controllers for sensor networks with the release of a rugged controller that improves management of automation systems used in a number of industries, including manufacturing, oil and gas, and chemicals.
Inspired by the hooks a parasitic worm uses to penetrate its host's intestines, the Karp Lab has invented a flexible adhesive patch covered with microneedles that adheres well to wet, soft tissues, but doesn't cause damage when removed.
A quick look into the merger of two powerhouse 3D printing OEMs and the new leader in rapid prototyping solutions, Stratasys. The industrial revolution is now led by 3D printing and engineers are given the opportunity to fully maximize their design capabilities, reduce their time-to-market and functionally test prototypes cheaper, faster and easier. Bruce Bradshaw, Director of Marketing in North America, will explore the large product offering and variety of materials that will help CAD designers articulate their product design with actual, physical prototypes. This broadcast will dive deep into technical information including application specific stories from real world customers and their experiences with 3D printing. 3D Printing is